Selected Events (02/20) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

Today’s “Fab 5″ / Selected NYCity Events – FRIDAY, FEB. 20, 2015
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”  

Silent Films/Live Music – “Blancanieves”  —  Film & Music   (8pm)  [FREE]
*** If you do only one thing this winter, go see and hear “Blancanieves.” ***

NYC Beer Week 2015   —  Food & Drink    (various times)

Bearden and Lawrence: Migrations —  
SmartStuff/ Roundtable Discussion   (4pm)

Elio Villafranca’s Music of the Caribbean —  Jazz   (9:30pm) 

CIRCUS XTREME  —  Special Event   (3pm)   (7pm) 

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Feb.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity Sights, Sounds and Stories visit out our sister site:

Silent Films/Live Music – “Blancanieves”
Curated by John Schaefer as part of WNYC’s New Sounds Live Series

Blancanieves_posterTonight’s award-winning silent hit “Blancanieves” is based on the “Snow White” fairy tale, written and directed by acclaimed Spanish director Pablo Berger in 2012. This film swept the Spanish Oscars in 2013 and received a standing ovation by the audience at my performance on Wednesday evening. Although I am reluctant to raise expectations too high, let me just say that if you do one thing this winter, go see and hear “Blancanieves.”

And one other thing – it’s FREE! Just get there early enough to get a seat.

“Blancanieves”, is a Spanish imagined version of Snow White unlike any Snow White you are familiar with (except for the very mean stepmother). It’s a fine black and white, modern silent film that is made great by the accompanying live music. Alfonso Vilallonga’s amazing original soundtrack is performed by the composer himself along with the acclaimed new-music ensemble Wordless Music Orchestra.
Winter Garden, Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street
8:00 PM – 9:45 PM / FREE

For those unfamiliar with Brookfield Place (aka World Financial Center):
It’s still under renovation so getting there, and around, can be tricky. I like the E train to World Trade Center, walk 1 short block to PATH, take the long escalators down towards the train, but go straight ahead to the new underground passageway to Brookfield Place. This avoids a long walk above ground in the cold/snow. Once there you can get something to eat and drink at “Hudson Eats”, a new upscale food court with 14 options overlooking the Hudson and right next to the performance space for “Blancanieves.”

NYC Beer Week 2015
imgres-1“Bottoms up with the Brooklyn Brewery, Eataly Birreria and other brew maestros at this seventh annual celebration of all things beer. Kick the week off with the Opening Day Bash, and taste unlimited samples from 40 of New York’s most celebrated breweries, including Bronx Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery and Sixpoint Brewery.

On Feb 24, hit the Brewer’s Choice event, where Beer Sessions Radio, the Good Beer Seal, and the NYC Brewers Guild will bring together more than three dozen brewers pouring their favorite beers and local restaurants cooking up dishes to complement the beverages. On Feb 28, celebrate Gun Hill’s one-year anniversary. It’ll be releasing a limited-edition beer, along with beer cocktails made with Port Morris Distillery moonshine. Pints will be discounted all night, and different specials will be announced at the bar every hour.

Make sure to end the week with a bang at the Closing Party Brunch on March 1. The week’s best breweries will be announced, and the week will end with music, food and—you guessed it— more beer.” (TONY)
Various locations

Bearden and Lawrence: Migrations
An evening of reflections with Deborah Cullen, Leah Dickerman, Mel Edwards, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Robert O’Meally, Jodi Roberts, Lowery Sims, and Robert Stepto. On Friday February 20, from 4-6 pm in 501 Schermerhorn Hall, in coordination with The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Columbia University will present the lively program Bearden & Lawrence: Migrations. Ten speakers, in ten minutes each, will reflect on personal journeys or odysseys, black migration (both nationally and internationally), and the two great African American master artists of the twentieth century: Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence.

Bearden & Lawrence: Migrations is inspired by the conjunction of Columbia’s current Bearden exhibition followed by MoMA’s forthcoming, new presentation of Lawrence’s complete Migration series (1941), that will be on view from April 3, 2015 to September 7, 2015. The day will conclude with a special exhibition viewing.
Columbia University, 501 Schermerhorn Hall
4:00pm / FREE with RSVP

Elio Villafranca’s Music of the Caribbean (also Saturday)
imgres“Elio Villafranca, a Cuban pianist and composer, presents the premiere of “Cinqué: Music of the Caribbean,” inspired by the ties between Cuba and Congo, and named after the African slave who led a revolt aboard the Amistad. Along with his band, the Jass Syncopators, he features Leyla McCalla on cello, banjo and vocals, and Jon Faddis on trumpet.” (Chinen-NYT)
Friday at 9:30 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m.,
the Appel Room, Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St. and Broadway
212-721-6500 /

Elsewhere, but the circus is in town, surely worth the detour:
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents CIRCUS XTREME! (through Mar.1)
189579aGet ready for an X-HILARATING adventure with X-TRAORDINARY circus artists and magnificent X-OTIC animals! It’s time to have XTREME fun with your family!
Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue, at Flatbush Ave.
subway: #2/3 to barclays center (30 min from times square)
11 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m. / $20 and up
800-745-3000 /

♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity (pop. 8.4 million) had a record 56 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.

My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Metropolitan Museum of Art:
‘Madame Cézanne’ (through March 15)
Cézanne’s paintings of his wife, Hortense Fiquet, have long stonewalled would-be psychologists, offering few indications of intimacy or interior life. (The poet Rainer Maria Rilke, enthusing over “Madame Cézanne in a Red Armchair,” focused on the work’s color scheme and called the chair “a personality in its own right.”) But assembled at the Met, and supported by more tender and informal graphite sketches, these portraits are more forthcoming. They suggest that numbing familiarity was actually, for Cézanne, a form of intimacy; that he could connect with portrait subjects only when they were as reliable a presence in his life as Mont Sainte-Victoire. 212-535-7710, (Rosenberg)

‘Thomas Hart Benton’s “America Today” Mural Rediscovered’ (through April 19)
The prickly American Regionalist Thomas Hart Benton had his share of detractors. But even they would probably acknowledge that his early mural “America Today” is the best of its kind, a raucous, cartwheeling, wide-angle look at 1920s America that set the standard for the Works Progress Administration’s mural program and has remained a New York City treasure. Now installed at the Met in a reconstruction of its original setting (a boardroom at the New School for Social Research), it captivates with period details (from the cut of a flapper gown to the mechanics of a blast furnace) and timely signs of socioeconomic and environmental distress (exhausted coal miners and hands reaching for coffee and bread). 212-535-7710, (Rosenberg)

Guggenheim Museum:
Guggenheim Museum: ‘On Kawara — Silence’ (through May 3)
The first retrospective of this Conceptual Art giant turns the museum’s spiral into a vortex suffused with the consciousness of time, life’s supreme ruler, in all its quotidian daily unfoldings, historical events and almost incomprehensible grandeur. The presentation of date paintings, “I Got Up” postcards and “I AM Still Alive” telegrams echoes Mr. Kawara’s exquisite sense of discipline and craft. This is an extraordinary tribute. 1071 Fifth Avenue, at 89th Street, 212-423-3500, (Smith)

Kandinsky Before Abstraction, 1901–1911 (through spring 2015)
ex_Kandinsky_Landscape-near-Murnau-with-Locomotive_490Early in his career Vasily Kandinsky experimented with printmaking, produced brightly-colored landscapes of the German countryside, and explored recognizable and recurrent motifs. This intimate exhibition drawn from the Guggenheim collection explores the artist’s representational origins.

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (continuing):
The stately doors of the 1902 Andrew Carnegie mansion, home to the Cooper Hewitt, are open again after an overhaul and expansion of the premises. Historic house and modern museum have always made an awkward fit, a standoff between preservation and innovation, and the problem remains, but the renovation has brought a wide-open new gallery space, a cafe and a raft of be-your-own-designer digital enhancements. Best of all, more of the museum’s vast permanent collection is now on view, including an Op Art weaving, miniature spiral staircases, ballistic face masks and a dainty enameled 18th-century version of a Swiss knife. Like design itself, this institution is built on tumult and friction, and you feel it. 2 East 91st Street, at Fifth Avenue, 212-849-8400, (Cotter)


Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Ten museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:

• 110th Street – Museum for African Art

• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio

• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York

• 92nd Street – The Jewish Museum

• 91st Street – Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

• 89th Street – National Academy Museum

• 88th Street – Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

• 86th Street – Neue Galerie New York

• 83rd Street – Goethe-Institut

Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
• 82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Additionally, though technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 70th St. and the The Morgan Library & Museum on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave. Now plan your own museum crawl. ========================================================

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 02/18 and 02/16.
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